Board of Directors

Bobby Garner - (Chairman)

Sr Engineering Project Mgr
Piedmont Natural gas

Bobby has been employed at Piedmont Natural Gas since 1987. 

 Currently, he works in the major projects group and has worked in the marketing, engineering, construction & field customer service departments. 

 He is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a BS in mechanical engineering, is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee and is a certified Project Management Professional. 

 He is a member of several organizations and previously served as chairman of the Nashville Area Utility Caucus & TN811 Damage Prevention Committee. 

 Bobby has served as board member since 2004.

Monte Cooper - (Vice-Chairman)

Sr. Vice President Electric Division

Jackson Energy Authority

Monte Cooper has worked with Jackson Energy Authority for 23 years.

He is currently the Sr Vice President of the Electric Division and has previously worked in Operations, Distribution, and Engineering Departments.

Jackson Energy Authority is a supplier of Electricity, Gas, Water, Wastewater, and Broadband services to Jackson-Madison County and parts of surrounding counties.

Monte graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Electrical Engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Tennessee.

He received a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Monte is a member of various utility and professional organizations and has been a member of the TN811 Board since 2011.

James Robbins - (Secretary)

Operations Supervisor

Atmos Energy

James has over 38 years in the Natural Gas & Construction Industry with 28 of those years with Atmos Energy Corporation.

Relocating to Murfreesboro from Kentucky in 2006, James is responsible for all aspects of the Murfreesboro Operation

Meter Reading, Service, Construction, Compliance, Customer Service and Public Relations.

The Murfreesboro Operation including Nolensville and Southeast Brentwood is Atmos Energy's largest operation in TN. with over 32,400 customers.

Vaughn Charles

Vice President - T & D Operations

Nashville Electric Service

Vaughn has over 25 years of professional experience in the electric utility industry. 

He has held a variety of positions within the NES engineering dept., serving as Supervisor & Manager in Customer Engineering sections & Civil & Environmental Engineering sections.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tennessee State Univ. and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Univ. of Tennessee. 

He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Tennessee and  has his certification as a Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute. 

NES serves over 370,000 customers and is the 12th largest public electric utility in the nation.

Donnie Coward

Damage Prevention Supervisor

Kinder -Morgan

Donnie Coward has responsibilities in damage prevention, public awareness, and one-call representation as the Damage Prevention Supervisor for Kinder-Morgan, Inc.

His coverage area includes northern Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, southeast Arkansas, and southern Kentucky.

He has worked in the pipeline industry since 1989 for Kinder-Morgan (formerly El Paso Corporation) and its subsidiaries.

Donnie is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

He is also certified with the State of Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners as Engineer Intern with a career history of seven years in pipeline construction engineering, and fifteen years in DOT compliance services.

Edward Kelley 

Vice President of Operations and Customer Service and Company Operating Officer

Middle Tennessee Natural Gas

Ed Kelley has been with Middle TN Natural Gas for over seven years and is responsible for all construction, maintenance and service. Middle Tennessee Natural Gas serves 55,000 customers in 20 counties and has over 3,000 miles of underground mainline piping the Middle TN area.

Ed attended the University of Tennessee and completed the Executive Development Program. He has served on numerous state and national committees including the Tennessee Gas Association and American Public Gas Association.

Ed has served as board member since 1990.

Matt Mingus

Director of Safety

Team Construction L.L.C.

Matt Mingus is the Safety Director at Team Construction which is an underground utility contractor that specializes in renewal, relocation, new main & service installations of  gas utilities.

Matt oversees and directs all safety protocols and programs, and manages the equipment maintenance. 

Though Matt officially joined the company in 2006, he has been around since its opening in 2003. To him, it has been a dream come true. As a child, there was nothing Matt wanted more than to work for his dad, Donnie Mingus (owner of Team Construction).

Matt is dedicated to safety and serves as Chair on the Team Safety Council.

Dewey Branstetter


Sherrard, Roe, Voigt & Harbison

Dewey Branstetter is a partner at the Nashville law firm of Sherrard, Roe, Voight & Harbinson.

A graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, he has practiced law for over 37 years and has represented TN 811 since it ceased to be a vendor run organization. 

In addition to his representation of TN 811, Dewey represents a number of utility entities across Tennessee., as well as, a number of other governmental and non-profit entities.

He has also served on several governmental board and commissions and has been a board member of numerous non-profit entities.

For many years he has been recognized in the publication "Best Lawyers in America" in the field of utility and employment law.

 Reggie Bowlin 

Manager of Systems Operations

 Memphis Light, Gas & Water

Reggie currently serves as Manager of Systems Operations for Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) the nation’s largest three-service utility, serving more than 429,000 customers. His present responsibilities include the oversight of the of the bulk electric, natural gas, and water systems to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable services.

A 34- year veteran, he has served in capacities as Manager - Electric Construction and Maintenance, Assistant Manager - Customer Service & Field Operations, Assistant Manager – Work Center, Supervisor - Customer Engineering, and Electric Lead Planning Engineer.

He is graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a B.S.E.E. and of the University of Memphis with an MBA concentration in finance.

He is also a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Tennessee and holds a NERC Transmission Operator Certification.

Charles Key

Director of Construction - SW Area


Charles "Chuck" Key Jr. has been in the telecommunications industry for 14 years.  He began his career in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina in 2005.  After the cleanup effort had concluded, Chuck began his career with Comcast in 2007.  He has held several key positions with the Construction Dept.  Currently he is the Senior Manager of Construction and covers the Middle Tennessee/West Tennessee, Arkansas, Mobile, and Jackson MS, markets.  Chuck is knowledgeable in all aspects of telecommunication construction including multi-state fiber builds.

Don Scholes

General Counsel

Tennessee Assoc. of Utility Districts

  Before coming to TAUD in 2017, Don was a partner in the firm of Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC, where he practiced utility law for 30 years.

Before joining that firm, he was Assistant General Counsel of the Tennessee Public Service Commission (now Tennessee Public Utility Commission).

Don has represented utility districts and municipal and county utilities across the state of Tennessee for many years.

He has been a frequent presenter at TAUD seminars and conferences, and has written numerous articles over the years on legal issues affecting utilities.

Brooke Sinclair

Manager - System Maintenance

Knoxville Utilities Board

Booke Sinclair  leads a department of 70 technicians, electricians, and administrative and engineering support staff at KUB.  She is responsible for maintaining over 250 electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas sites including 5 treatment plants.  She is the 2018-19 TN Gas Assoc. Board President & has served on many TGA Committees. Previously, Ms Sinclair was the Manager of Gas System Engineering managing 32 engineers, analysts, and technicians and was responsible for the design, permitting, and inspection of new construction and replacement projects.   Earlier in her career, she was the Manger of Safety, Security, & Technical Services and the Assistant to the Chief Engineer at KUB, responsible for the development, implementation, training and maintenance of appx 90 programs for KUB's water, wastewater, natural gas, and electric utility systems. She is a Certified Safety Professional and Certified Hazardous Materials manger with 20 years of regulatory compliance and safety experience.  Ms Sinclair received a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Science with a concentration in Environmental Science in 1999 and a Master of Science degree in Safety Management in 2010, both from the Univ. of TN, Knoxville.

Christopher "Lance" Sledge

Sr Admin Environmental Health & Safety

AT&T Field Operations

Lance has been employed with ATT since 1998, beginning as a technician with what was then BellSouth, in Bowling Green, KY.

In 2000, he moved to a management position in network operations. In that position, he oversaw the roll out of high-speed internet in the southcentral KY area along with the installation & maintenance of all high-speed data services for various customers.

Over the years, Lance has assumed various roles within network operations. Some of those highlights include overseeing multiple 911 installation and upgrade projects, managing ATT's 911 interest in central and western KY, managing our pressurized cable facilities, and working as a management & special projects trainer.

He took the role as the damage prevention manager for TN in March, and is excited to learn some of the processes behind the marks he has been seeing on the ground over the last 23 years.